‘Star Wars: Episode 7′: J.J. Abrams Reveals How Fans Can Be in the Movie

Published 11 months ago by

Star Wars: Episode VII has begun principal photography, and although that hasn’t completely stopped the flow of rumors – be they concerning additional casting for Episode VII or what comes next movie-wise, in the Star Wars franchise after director J.J. Abrams’ film – it means that we’re now getting more concrete information about the production. That continues today with a new video, showing Abrams on the Abu Dhabi set for the project, where he announces a new Star Wars charity effort – one that could win one lucky fan a walk-on role in Episode VII, no less.

Abrams has infamously been tight-fisted, when it comes to maintaining secrecy around his projects – perhaps too much so, as he eventually admitted with regard to his last film, Star Trek Into Darkness. While security is extremely high around the Abu Dhabi set for Episode VII (where scenes set on the desert planet Tatooine are being filmed), the mere fact that Abrams has revealed some portion of the Star Wars shoot – including an early look at what, presumably, is a new non-humanoid resident who shall be glimpsed on Tatooine – ahead of time, is something of a miracle.

star wars episode 7 charity contest Star Wars: Episode 7: J.J. Abrams Reveals How Fans Can Be in the Movie

As Abrams explains in the above video, this unexpected appearance is to promote a new charity contest, which will land one lucky fan the chance to actually make an appearance in Episode VII - as a background player/extra, that is. Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm have issued an official press release, which provides some additional details on the opportunity. We’ve included just those relevant portions below, for your reading convenience.

Today in a special video message from the set of Star Wars: Episode VII, director J.J. Abrams announced the creation of Star Wars: Force for Change, a brand new Star Wars initiative from Disney and Lucasfilm in collaboration with Bad Robot dedicated to finding creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. The first Star Wars: Force for Change campaign will raise funds and awareness for the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) Innovation Labs and its innovative programs that are benefitting the world’s most vulnerable children.

To support the launch of Star Wars: Force for Change, Disney has committed US $1 million, and fans can now contribute directly at Omaze.com/StarWars for a chance to appear in Star Wars: Episode VII. For each $10 contribution made through the Omaze fundraising platform, eligible participants will be automatically entered for a chance to win this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The campaign runs from 12:01am PST on May 21stth until 11:59pm PST July 18th.

The Star Wars: Force for Change Grand Prize includes: airfare and accommodations to London for one winner and a guest; behind-the-scenes access on the closed set of Star Wars: Episode VII as VIP guests of J.J. Abrams; winner will have the opportunity to meet members of the cast; winner and their guest will then be transformed by makeup and costume teams into a Star Wars character and filmed for a scene in Star Wars: Episode VII.

As mentioned in both the press release and above video, you should head over to Omaze.com/StarWars if you want to enter the contest to be filmed in a scene in Episode VII. There are 58 days left in the contest, as of the time of writing this, so best that you head over there now – if you’re interested in possibly making the trip to a galaxy far, far away, that is.


Star Wars: Episode VII opens in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015.

Source: Lucasfilm

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. What on earth is that creature. Sorry but it looks like it belongs in the Phantom Menace. Not good at all. Did these guts ever look at the original Star Wars. The creature were very gritty & ugly. Not this cute thing. I have a very bad feeling about this film now.

    • You saw one background extra and have written off the entire film? This is why we can’t have nice things.

      • Hang on there. Don’t you mean. This creature is why we can’t have nice things. Is this creature really up to your expectations. Do you really feel like… Yeah that’s it. It looks amazing, like a real alien. No… I didn’t think so. So when someone calls it for what it is you should say. At least you see it for what it is. Otherwise we’ll end up with the prequels all over again & nobody wants that.

        • Some of the background aliens in the orginal movies were nothing more than badly painted foam. It was just a bit of fun. but the world can’t have a bit of fun with sad people like you in it.
          GET A LIFE!

          • And you… It’s only a silly movie. No need to get all hissy fit.

        • So Andrew please tell me what a real live alien looks like. Cause I have never seen one in my life. Seen alot of movies that depict them, but never saw a real one.

    • Have you not seen the original Star Wars?! There are loads of cute/semi-cute weird-looking creatures. This creature looks amazing! Like it just walked off the set of the OT.

    • Also, this creature isn’t even that cute. He’s kind of ugly lookin’, in a good way! Not unlike something like say… Yoda.

      • Yeah. Yoda in the Phantom Menace. That’s not good by the way.

        • Star Wars has always been filled with weird goofy sometimes cute-looking creatures. This creatures work very well in my opinion – and I’m sure it’s a background character. It’s very weird and quite goofy. That’s my kind of Star Wars right there.

    • Your right. Awful looking alien. Why did they choose to show that. Not encouraging.

      • you’re*

    • *facepalm*

    • Relax, Muzze. It’s likely just a random, silly puppet. It was just there for humor and I’m sure it won’t be in the movie.

    • Come on Muzze. Give these guys a chance. I’m sure this is way in the background creature stuff. I know what you mean though. But I bet when you see the film you won’t even spot this thing.

    • Yeah because this guy, Max Rebo, was so gritty and ugly. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Max_Rebo

      • Max Rebo is way better than this thing. At least it’s weird. This looks like it’s from the prequels.

    • @Muzze. Wow, just wow. Is your comment for real? It’s one small background creature/prop. It’s like an extra. This clip is all for a bit of fun and for a good cause.
      Anyone else would be pleased and excited about having the oppurtinity to win the prize and get to be in Star Wars, but you’re apparently upset and have written off the entire trilogy because of one background prop in a charity message from the set. I can only presume you’re a 10 year old kid and if not, you’re a complete idiot.

    • @Muzze.
      Wow, just wow. Is your comment for real? It’s one small background creature/prop. It’s like an extra. This clip is all for a bit of fun and for a good cause.
      Anyone else would be pleased and excited about having the oppurtinity to win the prize and get to be in Star Wars, but you’re apparently upset and have written off the entire trilogy because of one background prop in a charity message from the set. I can only presume you’re a 10 year old kid who doesn’t know what on earth they’re talking about.

      All creatures in the Original were gritty and ugly, wtf are you talking about? Have you ever heard of a film called The Return of the Jedi, well apparently it featured hundreds of little cuddly bears called Ewoks.

      • Yeah. I wouldn’t use the Ewoks as a line of defence. Loads of Star Wars fans hated them for being so cute. Also… Kinda rude to call people an idiot for having an opinion. If your going to do that you need to look at yourself & work out why your such an angry person.

    • at least it’s not CGI’d out the butthole like your comment.

      • Oh I’m sure ILM & Weta Digital are now packing up shop after seeing this clip. Because it’s all over for cgi now. LOL… They are probably expecting a call from Abrams to cgi over the top of this rubbish looking puppet thing. Is this it…. Give me a break…. It’s a joke isn’t it. Never want to see a puppet in a movie ever again if this is what they have to offer.

    • LMAO!!!!!!
      That’s exactly what I thought when I saw the image!!!!!

      Star wars is broken! Lucas has well and truly poisoned the well. And it can’t be fixed! … unless Guillermo Del Toro directs!

      (btw don’t judge him on Pacific Rim! -that film was directed by the producers!)

    • ..oh and I forgot to say that this film will be one long lens flare flick and every major male character will have a crying scene!!

      Pike cries becoz he dies
      Kirk cries becoz Pike dies
      Spock cries becoz Kirk dies
      Scotty cries seeing Spock cry
      Uhura cries seeing Scotty cry
      oh and I forgot Khan cries becoz … well if he was that tough ..
      anyway the only one that doesn’t cry is McCoy! and he’s usually the most emotional!!

      So I think Luke will cry becoz he has to kill one of Han and Leia’s kids turning to the Dark Side.
      Leia will cry becoz Luke will cry
      Han will cry becoz his kid will die
      Luke will cry again becoz he will have to kill Han
      Chewie will cry (mew) becoz Han will die
      R2 will cry becoz he has seen so much … s***!
      Lucas will cry thinking he should have asked for more money.

      and I suppose I will cry becoz I will have wasted 2 hours of my life..

      sighhhh …..

    • Righton Muzzle! Starr Wars began goin wrong befor even tha Prequils w/ those blasted Ewokks in RoTj!

    • It’s Disney !
      What do you expect ?
      Star Wars Rebels has Aladdin so why not some Studio Ghibli style Monsters here ?!!

    • I love it. Its great,and I’m the one who’s been waiting for an r rated star wars. Well there will be none of that but the next movie is going to be great.

  2. its a real treat to see some practical aliens and set pieces. this man seems to have a real respect for the original works.

  3. I am hopeful…. JJ Abrams is the New Hope.

  4. Good Idea, to see J.J. Abrahms directing Star Wars Episode 7 a lot different than the Original Star Wars Trilogy. I hope the Origins on Star Wars will look similar.

  5. Is it just me or is the creature yodaesque? A relative maybe?

    • Don’t be a racist! Do all non-humans look alike to you? That guy looks completely different than Yoda Fishbourne’s species! :D

    • It’s certainly just you.

  6. I had no idea that Dennis Reynolds wore glasses….

  7. I don’t get it…. Where are the green screens??

    I kid.

    Also, aren’t you a little tall for a Jawa?? (the dude to the right lol)

  8. That creature is horrifying. BUT… is that a practical creature, and NOT CGI nonsense?!?!?!? That makes me happy.

  9. Wow, and all the discussion and rage here is about what will presumably be an alien with little or no part in the film. Yet no one is discussin what the article is really about. Sad.

  10. *discussing

  11. I think it looks cool…and geez louise guys, its just a freakin background alien. Don’t get your panties in a bunch quite yet. :)

  12. Jar Jar Abrams has admitted to being limited creatively and says he requires a blank slate since he is incapable of working within an existing continuity. Reportedly, he is now sending Jar Jar Binks into the past to erase all of the events of the first six Star Wars films. Happily, all of the Star Wars fanboys are fervently behind this move as they so adamantly demonstrated in their gushing over Abrams’ use of the concept in the Star Trek franchise.

    • Star trek 2009 did not erase anything. It did create a diferent continuity.
      With so much time travel going on in the Star Trek universe, it was bound to happen sooner or latter.

  13. Is that Darth Maul behind the bar?

  14. Aside from a force for change, which is awesome, the best thing about the clip is that JJ Abrams is seemingly setting the tone for the new Star Wars movie. More practical effects rather than CGI. There is hope

    • Do all of you people realize that the prequels used practical effects as well as CGI. I swear, does anyone actually figure things out on their own or do they get on the internet to find out what they think!

  15. Just take a look at this before you start knocking cgi.


    It’s only the bad use of cgi in the prequels that is causing all this fuss. If it was this good then you wouldn’t be bickering like a bunch of children.

    • You think those trash CGI apes look good? The apes in the Tim Burton Apes movie looked better than that crap.

      • Hey Mr Bitter. I’m sorry, but your simply just wrong there. I think you are far too angry to know what your looking at. The apes in the new planet of the apes look amazing. Very very very realistic. Let’s not let our personal problems cloud our views. Ok.

  16. Im not worried, these movies will be waaaay better than the last 3. And buddy’s right, who is that behind the bar?

  17. I’m a fan of Star Wars, but not a nerdy type fan that knows everything. I do not think JJ Abrams didn’t do that good of a job on Star Trek, but for some reason, I like the director choice. I feel this movie is in good hands, not Lucas’s hands (thank God). I think this is going to be a great movie. JJ Abrams will deliver I think.

    P.S. Anyone at Disney, if your reading this comment (which nobody probably is), I want a movie of The Old Republic!

    • Old republic movie I know the eu is dead but it would be a great movie

  18. In J.J. we trust

  19. Totally Awesome.
    And thats a cool creature.

  20. How funny. It’s like a reject from Labyrinth. Not bad… Not great.

    • Exactly what I was thinking! It looks very Jim Henson-esque.

  21. Creature looks total Star Wars world to me also great video for a great cause.

  22. Is that…is that Babidi???

    Are we going to get a DBZ x SW crossover, omG!!>>>

  23. OK… Lots of points of view here. Even if some of it is a bit misplaced. For me… Yes, great charity. Great cause. On the point of the creature. Yes this is probably a background creature that we shouldn’t worry about. Regarding the look of the alien. I think you have to look at the time and techniques available when they made them. For example I recently watched The Valley of Gwangi. I love that movie. Did I stop and say, this movie would be better if it had cgi dinosaurs in it. No I didn’t. It works for the time it was made & I can look right past that & enjoy the film. Also, do I think if they remade that movie I would like to see stop motion dinosaurs in it. Nope, of course not. It would look wrong & out of place. So why are they turning to old school techniques for this movie. The answer is simple, the failings of the prequels. I think most people can agree, the cgi creatures were a big disappointment. From Jar Jar to the pod racer aliens to the creature in the diner in attack of the clones. Even Yoda looks odd. So putting it simply. Can you write off cgi creatures because they did them badly in a few movies. In my opinion… no. Cgi, if done well, is very effective. Do I want to see puppets walking around in a modern movie. Not if it could be done better with cgi. I’m sorry. But that’s how I see it. With cgi I wouldn’t be looking at the cage going. I think I can see the performers face looking out. Those techniques worked very well back in the 80′s. But simply because that was all they could do then and that’s fine… For then…. Not now.

    • @Man Crab – Good points. Especially on the short comings of the prequel trilogy. Those movies were heavy on CGI and even used CGI when they were not supposed to ( ex. Jar Jar, jumping Yoda, Dexter ,flying Artoo, twisting Emperor, gungan army vs battle droids etc.) The prequels compared to the Originals seemed very different and out of place. I think the fans and creators now understand that a good balance of CGI and practical effects will be needed to make Episode 7 work. That way it will have a smooth transition between ROTJ and Ep 7. Movies that come to mind that use CGI with great practical effects are Star Trek (2009) and The Lord of the Rings trilogy especially Fellowship of the ring. If Abrams can find that balance, which i think he can since he directed Star Trek, then he would have done his job well. Hoping for the best

  24. This comment section is why Im not going to see the midnight showing of this movie. The theater is going to be filled with a bunch of cynical nit picking brats that is going to call EVERY THING in the movie crap because it’s not what they saw at the age of 7.

    • Agreed

    • Disagreed.

    • Hey! What’s your problem. This is a comments section. People are commenting. Just because you have a different view doesn’t give you the right to be rude. Brat!

      • It’s a example of why im not going to a midnight showing.

  25. What worries me is that this is their showpiece alien. They must have been really proud of this to bring it out first. If this is the best they have then what do the rest look like. This is going to be worse than the prequels… Convinced of that now.